DEAN GILLISPIE: After serving 20 years for allegedly committing several rapes near Dayton, Gillispie was released from prison Dec. 22 based on the work of City Councilwoman Laure Quinlivan and the Ohio Innocence Project. In 1998, while she was a reporter at WCPO-TV (Channel 9), Quinlivan began producing a series of reports on Gillispie’s case that raised questions about Gillispie’s conviction. Later, the Innocence Project accepted his case. A federal magistrate recently ruled that Gillispie didn’t receive a fair trial in 1991 because the prosecution improperly withheld evidence from the defense. Gillispie will remain free on bond and under electronic monitoring, pending the state’s appeal and a possible new trial.
JOHN BOEHNER: Last week was a particularly bad one for the House Speaker from West Chester. Bowing to pressure from hardline conservatives, Boehner initially opposed a two-month extension of a payroll-tax break, which had been approved by the Senate and endorsed by President Obama. After widespread criticism ranging from Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to The Wall Street Journal , however, Boehner did a flip-flop and backed the extension. The off-again, on-again situation reveals how little control Boehner has over the unruly Tea Partiers in the House, and his own lack of leadership ability.
CINCINNATI BELL: That didn’t take long. A federal judge ruled in late September that a lawsuit filed by an Illinois-based pension fund against Cincinnati Bell could proceed to trial. The suit alleges Bell’s board of directors improperly approved more than $8 million in bonuses and other payments to top executives at a time when its net income dropped by $61 million. Lo and behold, Bell decided this month to approve a settlement in a similar case filed in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court. Terms of the settlement are confidential, but an attorney for plaintiffs said it includes a binding provision to ensure compensation decisions are based on executive performance. We’re betting a settlement in the federal case is forthcoming.
YWCA: The Allstate Foundation recently gave $10,000 to YWCA of Greater Cincinnati in support of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, which is recognized in October each year. Allstate challenged the YWCA to bring at least 100 members of the community together to learn about domestic violence and a new website to help women have access to more resources. More than 120 women attended the Y’s “Purple Purse TweetUp,” wearing purple and donating purses for the agency’s Battered Women’s Shelter clients. The local YWCA serves more than 35,000 women annually through programs in crisis intervention, health and wellness, and education and training.